Updated: May 10
Happy Friday, lovely humans!
This week, I want to talk about what I consider to be a entirely underrated issue that seems to come up only when it's needed the most. That's right, I'm talking about going to the bathroom.
Going to the bathroom is one of the most basic human needs and rights. Every single one of us goes to the bathroom. This used to be a non-issue. And then COVID happened.
Among the many, many, many heart-breaking, challenging, and sad things that COVID has brought to the lives of most, this one thing is what I want to talk about. Why? Well, for one, because I don't hear anyone else talk about this and I feel that more people should! And for two, because this week I was faced with a situation that almost took a turn for the worst.
I understand that most restaurants and coffee shops are now catering to the pandemic restrictions and in doing so, have closed their dining areas. I even understand their decision to close access to their what-used-to-be-public bathrooms. But what I don't understand, nor accept, is how people are left stranded, looking for a toilet.
If a government official ever reads this post, I sure hope they try to rectify the situation, on account of my bursting bladder, which I now pity each time I leave my house.
I must share this story with you, my dear reader, because I know you will relate!
This past week, I had errands to run in the NDG/Westmount area (this is in Montreal, Quebec for those of you who are not from around here). My day began relatively early, and before I knew it, my morning coffee had made its way to my bladder, waking it up like a hungry baby demanding attention.
My first thought was "Where is the closest McDonald's?!" The place that seemed to have its customers' backs and hasn't let me down so far (toilet-wise). For the record, I don't eat their food because of several and obvious reasons, in addition to my having a hard time accepting that a salad should cost more than a burger, aka, an animal's life, but I digress and leave this topic for a future post.
GPS said the McDo's was 3 mins away; "Sweet!" I think to myself. I arrive and find a place for my partner to double park while I run in. Only to discover this particular location only opens at 11 am!!
So much is wrong with this picture. First and foremost, has anyone ever heard of a McDonald's opening so late?! That's just madness!
In the urgency of the moment, I ran across the street to the Starbucks on the corner. "Toilets are closed" said the sign -- oh come on!! I ask the baristas "Where can I go pee?! I really need to go!!"
"No idea" they replied. In other words, "not our problem".
At this point, I'm furious, and also on the verge of my bladder surrendering its white flag to the force within.
"What if I just peed in this little corner on the off-street?" I begin fanaticizing my options.
"That's frowned upon," says my partner "and also illegal."
"dammit!" I cry "what now?!"
We start driving down Sherbrooke, passing places I know will reject my toilet request.
Finally, I pull into an A&W, desperately asking the manager to please allow me to use their bathroom.
She agrees, to my delight. Though, I think she could tell by my tone that had she refused me, she would have a very different kind of problem on her hands.
I relieve my warrior bladder and return to the car, only to let out a loud, angry, frustrated scream (I had to discharge this frustrated energy somehow, after all!)
And so, my lovely reader, here is what I ultimately want to share. Firstly, if any of you have any influence over decisions made for the general public regarding COVID restrictions, I kindly ask that you help me get public restrooms more accessible!! (two exclamation points required here!)
Secondly, if any of you ever experienced this issue first hand or will in the future (which I definitely don't wish upon you), know now for sure, that you are absolutely not alone, and that there is ZERO shame in urgently seeking a public bathroom. Whether it's to pee, or something less pleasant, both are important, and both are completely normal.
Happy restroom hunting to you!
Stay safe, and take good care!
Oh, and happy weekend!
As always, with love and kindness,